We have seen a lot of current and former cricketers pick their all-time XI thanks to the initiative by the Lords Cricket Ground. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting went another way and decided to pick his all-time IPL XI given that the tournament has completed 10 years.
He had picked his IPL XI for the year 2017 midway through the tournament this year but he had chosen more than four foreigners, so this time he complied with the regular team rules and picked four foreigners on his side. However, there were a few notable exclusions.
Ponting himself has been involved with the IPL for a long time – first as a player and then as a coach for the Mumbai Indians.
AB de Villiers, who has dominated almost every single bowler and on numerous occasions single-handedly took the Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory was left out of the playing XI.
Apart from that, big names such as Sunil Narine and Brendon Mccullum were not included as well.
Here is Ricky Ponting's all-time IPL XI:
Openers: Chris Gayle and David Warner
The highest run-getter in the history of T20 cricket, Gayle is the only cricketer to have crossed 10000 runs in the shortest format of the game. Leaving him out of the side would be an inexcusable mistake.
Warner too has been a revelation in this format and has led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory last year. He averages over 50 with the bat for SRH and is on-course to take them to the playoffs once again.
Middle order: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Suresh Raina
Ponting felt that Kohli and Rohit have been the best batsmen in India over the past few years and thus included them in the side. Kohli had a record breaking season for RCB in 2016 where he scored nearly 1000 runs and smashed four centuries as well.
Rohit, on the other hand, is an extremely reliable middle-order batsman according to Ponting and is able to control the innings with the bat. Raina, on the other hand, has scored the most runs in IPL history. Ponting felt he would be best suited at no.5 in the batting line-up given his weakness to fast bowlers.
Lower middle order and all-rounder: MS Dhoni (c and wk) and Dwayne Bravo
Ponting decided to keep MS Dhoni as the captain and the wicket-keeper of the side. On his day, Dhoni can take the game away from the opposition in any situation and is a mastermind when it comes to captaincy. His wicket-keeping skills, as we all know are top notch.
Dwayne Bravo, who has been MSD’s teammate at CSK is one of the best all-rounders in the game and an extremely effective bowler, especially at the death given his ability to contain the opposition’s run-rate.
Spinners: Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh
Ponting made a surprise choice, as he calls it by picking leggie Mishra on the side. He felt that the Indian has a lot of variations and a great IPL record. Harbhajan, on the other hand, is one of India's best spinners and has dismissed Ponting on a number of occasions as well.
His numbers speak for themselves and he would be a great addition to any side.
Fast bowlers: Lasith Malinga and Ashish Nehra
Malinga is arguably one of the greatest T20 bowlers of all time. His toe crushing yorkers have proved to be deadly for any opposition and he has proved to be extremely successful for the Mumbai Indians.
Ponting wanted a left-right combination and hence picked Ashish Nehra on his side. Nehra has been around in the Indian cricket team for a long time and still continues to play an important role in India's T20 set up.
Final Team: Chris Gayle, David Warner, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (captain and wk), Dwayne Bravo, Amit Mishra, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Ashish Nehra.